Procedures for Determining Residency

In order to attend the Melrose Public Schools, a student must actually reside in Melrose, unless the exception applies. The residence of a minor child is ordinarily presumed to be the legal residence of the child’s parent or legal guardian having physical custody of the child. A student’s actual residence is considered to be the place where he or she lives permanently. In determining residency, Melrose Public Schools (MPS) retains the right to require the production of a variety of records and documentation and to investigate where a student actually resides.


To be eligible to register to attend school in Melrose, a student’s parent or legal guardian must submit at least one original* document from each category listed below and any other documents that may be requested, including but not limited to those referenced categories.  A parent, guardian, or student who is unable to produce the required documents should contact the Registrar at 781-662-2000 x-1.

*These documents must be an original mailed from the bill source, not a fax or printout from an online billing/payment center.

Category 1 - Evidence of Residency:

  • Record of recent mortgage payment and/or property tax bill from the City of Melrose
  • Fully signed and executed Lease and/or Rental Agreement (Must be executed by both parties)
  • Proof of tenancy-at-will
  • Fully signed and executed Purchase and Sale (P&S) Agreement (Provided occupancy date occurs within 30 days of enrollment)
  • Section 8 Agreement

Category 2 - Evidence of Occupancy:

  • Gas/Oil Bill
  • Electric Bill
  • Home (not cell) Telephone Bill
  • Cable Bill
  • Water Bill (Bill must be dated within the past 45 days and address and name must be stated)
  • Occupancy Statement/Affidavit must be notarized if a bill can not be provided prior to student’s enrollment.

Category 3 - Evidence of Identification (Photo ID):

  • Valid MA Driver’s License
  • Valid MA Photo ID Card
  • Valid Passport
  • Other Government issued Photo ID

The Principal, or his/her designee, shall verify the home address and home telephone number of each student at least once during the school year. Any irregularities shall be reported promptly to the Superintendent of Schools. Parents are required to notify the school of any changes of their address or the address of the student within five business days of the change.


Should a question arise concerning any student’s residency elsewhere while attending the MPS, the student’s residency will be subject to further inquiry and/or investigation. Such questions concerning residency may arise on the basis of incomplete, suspicious, or contradictory proofs of address; anonymous tips; correspondence that is returned to the MPS because of an invalid or unknown address, or other grounds.

The Superintendent may request additional documentation, may use the assistance of School Department personnel, and/or may obtain the services of police or investigative agency personnel to conduct investigations into student residence, who will report his or her findings to the Superintendent of Schools, who shall make final determination of residency. Upon an initial determination by the Superintendent of Schools that a student is actually residing in a city or town other than Melrose, the student’s enrollment in MPS shall be terminated immediately.


In addition to termination of enrollment and the imposition of other penalties permitted by law (M.G.L. Chapter 76, Section 5), the MPS reserves the right to recover restitution based upon the costs of educational services provided during the period of non-residency.


1. The Residency Requirements shall not apply to the following:

a. Students who are entitled to attend the Melrose Public Schools under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

b. Melrose High School seniors already enrolled in the MPS who move out on or after October 1st of a given school year, may complete the current school year provided they have made the Superintendent of Schools aware of the move in writing within 5 business days of such move.

c. Children of school department professional employees shall be allowed to attend a regular education program in the Melrose Public Schools on a tuition-free basis with the cost of any special services to be paid for by the parents, provided that this benefit shall not apply to programs for which Melrose residents are charged tuition, such as Pre-School, before/after school programs or summer programs.

d. The Superintendent of schools is authorized to admit new students from the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program from K-12 subject to the school committees guidelines for class size and subject to availability of funds from the Massachusetts of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).


For students whose residency is in transition, the following exceptions to the general policy may apply, with prior written approval from the Superintendent of Schools:

  1. Pending Purchase of Dwelling – The children of families who have signed and accepted Purchase and Sale Agreement to purchase and reside in a dwelling in the City of Melrose may be enrolled up to 30 calendar days in advance of the time actual physical residence occurs. If actual residence occurs later than 30 days after enrollment, students may be asked to leave the Schools until actual residence occurs.
  2. Construction of New Dwelling - Children of families which are building a primary residence in Melrose may enroll in the Schools at the beginning of the school year if they have obtained a certificate of occupancy from the City.


The Melrose Public School residency requirements, verification procedures, and consequences of falsifying or misrepresenting residency will be published in the Melrose Public School’s Policy Manual, and published in each school handbook. Legal Reference: M.G.L. Chapter 76, Section 5



Occupancy Statement/Affidavit


I the parent/legal guardian/responsible adult of ___________________________________________hereby certify as follows:

                                                                                          (Print student’s full name)         

  1. I wish to enroll the above named student in the Melrose Public Schools. I understand that pursuant to Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 76, Section 5) and Melrose Public School’s Policy, students who actually reside in the City of Melrose may attend the Melrose Public Schools (MPS) and students who do not actually reside in the City of Melrose may not attend the Melrose Public Schools.
  2. I  hereby certify that effective ___________________, 20___, the above named student is/will be residing at the following address in Melrose, Massachusetts with:  _______________________________________________________________________________________________                                                             (Printed name of parent/guardian/responsible adult)            ______________________________________________________________________________________________, Melrose, MA  02176            No.                      Street                                                                                                               Apt./Unit No.                       
  3. I acknowledge that I am required to notify the Melrose Public Schools or the above student’s school, in writing, of any change in said student’s address within five (5) business days of such change of address.
  4. I understand that this Occupancy Statement will be relied upon by the Melrose Public Schools for the purpose of determining the above student’s eligibility to attend the Melrose Public Schools on the basis of residency. If said student is enrolled in the Melrose Public Schools based upon the information provided and it is subsequently determined that the student does not actually reside in Melrose, I understand that the student’s enrollment in the Melrose Public Schools will be promptly terminated and I will be jointly liable to the Melrose Public Schools for the student’s tuition for the full academic year(s).
  5. I further certify that I am the parent/legal guardian/or responsible adult of the above named student.
  6. I understand that all applicants must reside in the City of Melrose as outlined in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 76, Section 5 which states:

Every person shall have a right to attend the public schools of the town where he/she actually resides, subject to the following section. No school committee is required to enroll a person who does not actually reside in the town unless said enrollment is authorized by law or by the school committee. Any person who violates or assists in the violation of this provision may be required to remit full restitution to the town of the improperly-attended public schools. No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. (Amended by st. 1971, c.622, c.1; st. 1973, c. 925, s.9A, st. 1993, c.282; st.2004, c.352, s.33)

Signed under the pain and penalties of perjury on this______day of  ______________________, 20____


Signature of Parent/Guardian/Responsible Adult

                            (Please circle relationship)


Statement of Notary Public:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Middlesex County, ss.

On this _____day of __________________________, 20____, before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared ______________________________________________________________ (name of document signer) and proved to me through satisfactory evidence of identification, which were _______________________________________, to be the person whose name is signed on the preceding or attached document and acknowledged to me that he/she signed it voluntarily for its stated purpose.



                                                                                                                        Notary Public

                                                                                                                        My Commission Expires: